America's First IPO

September 15, 2010 - March 5, 2011

"America’s First IPO” is an exhibit on the country’s first public company, the Bank of North America, and the origins of the US stock market. It features some of the nation’s most important founding financial documents and occupies a new gallery on the Grand Mezzanine level of the Museum’s home at 48 Wall Street.

The exhibit includes such unique pieces of American history as the earliest known American stock certificate, the earliest known American bank check in the public domain and a certificate from the first US federal bond issue. Two touch screen interactive displays provide a fun, educational way to explore the relationships between the key players involved in laying the foundations of America’s modern financial system.

Many of the documents displayed in “America’s First IPO” are on loan to the Museum from Ned W. Downing, a former Wall Street executive and long-time collector of documents from early American financial and business history. Downing also authored the Museum's book, The Revolutionary Beginning of the American Stock Market, on which the exhibit is based.